Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, 41, announced today that Friday, August 12 will be his last game with the Yankees against Tampa in Yankee Stadium. The slugger with the fourth-most home runs in Major League history will be unconditionally released from his player contract and sign a contract to serve as a special advisor and instructor for the Yankees through Dec. 31, 2017.
“We all want to keep playing forever. But it doesn’t work that way,” Rodriguez said during a news conference at Yankee Stadium.
“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement.
It was noticeable that Rodriguez did not mention “Retirement” and left the window open to return to play with another team.
Rodriguez, 41, will work with various players in the Yankees farm system and will report directly to Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. He will also serve as a guest instructor during 2017 Spring Training.
This is a tough day,” Rodriguez said. “I love this game and I love this team. And today I’m saying goodbye to both. This is also a proud day. I was 18 when I broke into the big leagues. I never thought I could play for 22 years. At 18, I just wanted to make the team. I want to thank the Steinbrenner family for giving me this opportunity and for making me part of this team and for giving me an opportunity to stay involved by mentoring the next generation of Yankees.
Rodriguez’s place in baseball’s record books is secure. In addition to his 696 homers entering Sunday’s game, he ranks third in Major League history with 2,084 RBIs. Over parts of 22 seasons, Rodriguez has played in 2,781 games — the 25th-highest total in history — while collecting three AL MVP Awards, 10 Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Glove Awards and an AL batting title in 1996, when he hit .358.